MANILA - Nearly eight in ten Filipinos trust President Rodrigo Duterte and approve of his performance, after nearly a year in office, even as his ratings have started to decline, according to an independent poll.
The President secured a trust rating of 76 percent in March, down 7 points from 83 percent in December, Pulse Asia Inc said, citing a poll of 1,200 adults.
The survey showed 5 percent said they distrusted the President while 18 percent were undecided.
Duterte's approval rating was at 78 percent in March, down 5 points from 83 percent in December, the pollster said. Seven percent disapproved of him while 15 percent were undecided.
In the weeks leading to the survey period, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte over killings linked to his war on drugs and allegations he kept secret bank accounts.
Retired Davao cop SPO3 Arturo Lascañas also retracted his former statement and linked Duterte to the Davao Death Squad during this time.
Other events leading to the survey period included Robredo's video message to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs revealing alleged police abuses and the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima over drug-related charges.
GEOGRAPHICAL, SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEMOGRAPHICS
Mindanaoans granted Duterte the highest ratings on his performance and trustworthiness, at 88 percent and 90 percent respectively.
Significant drops were evident in the numbers from Balance Luzon, however, with a 7-point decline in approval ratings and a 10-point decline in trust ratings. This geographical area also gave Duterte the lowest marks in both aspects (71 perecent approval, 67 percent trust).
Meanwhile, a jump can be noted in the approval and trust ratings from Class ABC, with +17 and +12 percent respectively.
Conversely, there was a slip in Duterte's ratings from Class D and E. Approval fell six points and eight points respectively, and trust fell seven points and 11 points respectively.
NOT SURPRISING, SAME AS AQUINO'S
Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda said the dip in Duterte's numbers was not surprising as it is "customary for the ratings of a leader to decline over time."
Tabunda told ANC Duterte's approval and trust ratings are tied with former President Benigno Aquino III's in March 2011, adding that Aquino dropped five points then.
She said the drop in Duterte's number may partly be due to graft and corruption investigations as there was a dip in administration ratings regarding this, but people "may have different reasons for no longer trusting the President."
Noting that the decline across socio-economic classes are still within the marginal errors, Tabunda said they are not necessarily reacting to some particular issue.
"But in class D, the significant drop , the class makes up about 2/3 of the country, so when there's a change in their opinion then you see the change in total country's figure," she said.
Although she believes Duterte does not care about opinion polls, she said they would like to get the people's sentiments across to their leaders.
"It will indicate to the President and the men around him [that] the President is not necessarily immune from changes in opinions. The people are really looking at what they're doing with regards to issues they're concerned about," she said.